Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dog Bites Dog

Late last week, P opened the back door to let Buddy out without checking to be sure there were no other dogs out there. There were two (much bigger) dogs on leash in front of the house, and Buddy left the yard to bark in their faces. P heard the barking and called for Buddy. He came running right away. P went to apologize to the woman walking the dogs and make sure she was okay. She said she was and walked away. She failed to mention that her dogs had bit Buddy several times.

Clearly this was our fault, since even aggressive dogs have to go for walks and our dog should either have been on a leash or should have stayed in our yard (which he usually does when we tell him to, but we don't generally tell him to unless we see an unfamiliar dog coming, which P didn't as he didn't check). But the owner could have said something. As it was, the wounds didn't bleed right away, and he didn't stiffen up for a few hours, so it was a while before we knew something was wrong.

When I took Buddy to the vet, the vet shaved Buddy's shoulder and found what he described as a severe dog bite, along with several superficial ones. The big one was down to the muscle and required three staples to close (and will require general anesthesia and stitches if the staples don't work but we all wanted to avoid the risks of putting him under). He can't run or go for real walks or play until the staples come out next week. And he's on antibiotics and pain killers. Finally, because we don't have the other dogs' rabies vaccination numbers (which we would have gotten had the owner mentioned that they BIT OUR DOG), the vet has to assume the dog was rabid, so Buddy had to get another rabies shot even though he wasn't due for one for two years. He also can't be off-leash or interact with another dog for 45 days.

Our poor boy. He looks so sad. And we can't exactly explain why he can't do stuff. Looks like we're going to have to find the money to fence the yard, since keeping our very active dog on-leash isn't really a sustainable option long-term.


Melissa said...

Oh wow, I can't believe the owner didn't mention anything about the bites - they seem to be pretty serious.

Hopefully Buddy makes a quick recovery - and the fence idea is definitely a good one. Consider it as Buddy's Christmas present!

Amanda said...

How could she fail to mention that??? Was she afraid that you guys would sue her or something? You know that wouldn't have worked since Buddy was off leash. But for your dog's health, she should have shared. Hussy!

I hope Buddy bounces back quickly and doesn't require any further treatment.

Newt said...

Hope Buddy feels better soon!

Chris said...

Thanks for sending me the address for your blog - I wish I had been reading it the whole time I was pregnant - we were only 2 weeks apart! I propose a doggie/baby play date once Buddy is off the rabies watch list!